Piracy and Posers
I used to keep 50 Gb of audio files, I saved them for years. After I stopped copying tapes with my father's sound system, I switched to digital music downloaded from the internet thanks to Napster, for example. To talk about piracy and posers I start with myself. Now, I've got rid of all that, partly because my taste in music changed a lot, partly because now I have my own sound equipment and can afford to collect records, cassettes, and CDs, and -of course- cause it's illegal!
There are hundreds of blogs on the internet where you can download complete albums nowadays. They say it means free publicity to the bands so that more people get to know them, but only a few people download music with that purpose in mind, to buy their merchandise afterward. Personally, I didn't feel any remorse downloading Slayer's discography, from "Show no Mercy" to "Repentless", but I prefer to save my money to buy a CD or cassette released by a local band, they rely on those sales to pay for the studio recording or new music productions. Intellectual property is protected against theft, just as physical property is, but there are people who think all artistic creation should be freely accessible, or that copyrights and patents restrict access to ideas and free expression. So, this question arises: Who do we steal from if we download music illegally? The answer is complex. In different proportions, we steal from all the links in the big chain that makes the music go from the composer to our filthy hands. Most of the money from the sale of the albums goes to the record company and is distributed - to a lesser extent- among the other participants. When the band runs their own record label or works with small and medium-sized labels, money is distributed among fewer hands and - sometimes- more fairly.
I buy different versions of the same album when they are released by local bands, and I think that nothing compares to having music in physical format, the feeling is unique when you see the turntable needle playing a record or the sound of static from the tape in the deck, but there are always people who say it's a waste of money, claiming it's easier to download music from the Internet. In addition, there are digital platforms to listen to music for free without fucking with anyone's money: Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and social network pages run by the bands themselves or the samplers some record companies release are good options too. Buying music in digital formats is an option to -legally- download good quality audio files at a lower price as well.
"Do what thou wilt be the whole of the law" (Crowley, 1904, I: 40), but anyone who is unwilling to spend a few dollars, or a fair amount of effort to support the music he claims to be proud of is a miserable poser. The "support local bands" motto is only valid when it comes from someone living to it.
|A picture of my own collection back in 2016 or so.|